HOW TO: Secrets of Sexy, Healthy Hair!

It’s Winter here in Australia, which means dry, unhealthy hair. But even for those of you that have just been through Summer, hours in chlorinated pools alongside heat styling before nights out can also do a fair amount of damage.

When it comes to the maintenance and repair of your hair there are a few simple steps to keeping it healthy and sexy smooth!

1. Heat Protectant ProductsBoth Amelia and I have naturally straight hair, but that doesn’t mean we don’t use heat styling. Most people make the mistake of not considering a hair dryer as a heat styling tool. BIG MISTAKE! When you are applying that much heat to your hair you are attempting to rapidly remove the moisture (being the excess water…) but often it takes the natural moisture from it too, especially at the ends. Leading to split ends and dry looking, listless hair.

So when using a hair straightener, curling wand or hair dryer…make sure you apply a heat protectant product beforehand. My personal favourite at the moment is REDKEN ‘heat styling-satinwear 02’ this is a serum so should be applied to wet hair…for straightening or curling of dry hair I would recommend using a spray version instead.

l'oreal mythic oil

 

2. Treatments

Treatments are a great way to restore life to your hair. Where heat protectant products act as preventative measures against damaged hair, treatments are a great way to fix already unhealthy hair.

I have colour treated hair which is a sure-fire way to damage your hair straight out. I went from brown to dark auburn to an orange blonde, so as you can imagine…my hair is not loving me right now.

My favourite treatments right now are’ Mythic Oil’ by L’Oreal Paris which is a nourishing hair mask for all hair types and the Pantene ‘3 minute miracle’ which is an intensive treatment for severely damaged hair. Both of these work wonders in minutes!

3. Invest in good quality shampoos and conditioners

It seems like such a simple thing to say…but it’s actually really important.

Those products we all love, you know the ones that smell like a perfumery or a candy store? They are the ones to avoid. I know, I know…it’s incredibly depressing, but those products contain a lot of perfumed chemicals that end up causing a damaging, drying effects long term. Try to look for organic shampoos and conditioners (often they can smell amazing but don’t contain the same chemicals as the bad ones because the scents are organic and natural.)

My all time favourite shampoo and conditioner are part of the Moroccan Oil series but they can cost a pretty penny. Looking to go organic? A great brand to try is Organix.

And last but not least…

4. Try to not wash your hair too often

Again…a fairly simple thing to suggest. But washing your hair too often removes the natural oils from your hair, causing damage. At the same time, your hair is forced to produce more oils at a faster rate in order to compensate for the ones being washed away…this results in your hair getting greasy sooner.

I’m not telling you to go around with greasy hair and avoid washing it, but try to use things like dry shampoo to make your hair last that extra day without washing. My favourite dry shampoo at the moment is by Batiste in the Tropical scent! YUM!

There we have it! I hope this post has helped some of you with your hair care! Let me know if you incorporate any of these things into your new regime and if they work for you. Or if you are already doing these things and have some great brand suggestions I’d love to hear from you!

– Rubenesque xoxo

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Basic Contouring and Highlighting

Contouring and highlighting is a great way to visually minimise and enhance facial features. This is one of the most difficult makeup techniques to master as it is very obvious when it goes wrong. So why would you contour and highlight in the first place? Well it an can make your face look thinner, cheek bones more prominent, and nose slimmer.

Products

There are many different products you can use to contour. For a more natural look (and my personal favourite) you can use two different shades of foundation: one a shade lighter than your skin colour and one a shade darker. You can use powders, a matte cool toned brown and a light powder with fine shimmer particles. If using a powder highlighter make sure it is not glittery or has large particles of shimmer or has a metallic finish if you want to keep it fairly natural. The final way is to use liquids or creams, this often has the most natural finish as the skin is naturally dewy and creams give the same finish. Although I love this option is is usually not the best for people who have oily skin that are looking for longevity with their makeup.

Our favourite products are: NYX blush in Taupe, Sleek contouring and highlighting palette in Light, Benefit liquid highlighter in High Beam, MAC mineral skin finish in Soft and Gentle, Benefit Hoola and Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

Concepts

Once you get the general concepts of contouring then it can be applied to any face and you can decide how much or little you want to visually alter your face shape. So what are these basic concepts?

– if you apply a dark matte colour to any part of your face you are going to make that part less prominent and it appears to be further back or minimises the area. Make sure the colour is matte as a shimmery colour does the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve

– if you apply a light shimmery colour to any part of your face you are going to make that part more prominent and it appears to be further forward or enhances the area . A shimmery colour reflects the light which enhances the effect of the highlighter.

Tools:

It really depends on whether you are using a powder or a liquid. For powders I would recommend a small kabuki brush for contour and a small fluffy brush for highlighting (something like a MAC 224). For liquids and creams I would recommend a pointed dense synthetic brush (like the Real Techniques contour brush) for the contour colour and for the highlighter I would recommend a small synthetic fluffy brush (like the Sigma P82). The reason I would suggest synthetic brushes for liquid or cream products is that the bristles are not damaged by the product and real hair brushes sometimes are and they are more likely to leave the product patchy on your face.

Application

Now keeping all of that in mind where should you apply it? Well the most feminine features on the face are our high cheekbones, slender nose and small foreheads, so that is where we want to place our contour and highlighter.

Cheekbones: place a contour colour under where your cheekbones are, the easiest way to find this if you’re a beginner is to pull a fishy face and place the colour in the hollow that starts at the top of your eye and goes to the corner of your mouth. It is important to not apply the contour all the way to your mouth but instead stop where your eye starts. For highlighter you apply it on the top of the cheekbones and blend it towards the hairline. Again don’t apply the highlighter to close to the nose but instead start the highlighter  at the otter edge of your iris and bring it up to the hairline. (Brown is contour, pink is highlighter)

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Nose: place the contour colour on the edges of the nose and keep the bridge of the nose free of product, make sure you use a very light hand. With the highlight colour place down the bridge of the nose but stop it before the nostrils as it will just make the nose look oily if product is placed in that area. (Brown is contour, pink is highlighter)

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Forehead: this technique is often used when wanting to bronze up the appearance of your face but can also be used to further shape the face. Using the contour colour place it on the  temples and sides of the forehead and leave the central part free of product. You can also place highlighter in this central region but I would not recommend this as I believe it looks quite unnatural when placed in this area.

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Let us know how this works for you and any of your contouring and highlighting techniques

xxx Rubenesque

Battle of the Mascaras

Mascara

Recently we went to Chanel to purchase the illustrious Vitalumière Aqua foundation. When we were there the shop assistant gave both of us samples of their new mascara: Le Volume de Chanel. So we thought we’d try it out and do a review to compare it to the drugstore mascaras of our current collection and decide if the High-end brands are really worth the hype.

High End makeup brands…we all want them in our collection, don’t lie ladies. The packaging, the colour range, the hype; we are all very easily sucked in. Unfortunately, purchasing these items puts a serious dent in our savings. But often you are paying for quality, so it’s worth it. But don’t be fooled! Many of these products are not worth the hype, and often there are products from cheaper brands that produce really similar results.

It is worth doing your research before making such expensive purchases. Good sources for easy research include youtube and beauty blogs.

Today we are endeavoring to compare a couple of high-end mascaras with some of our favourite drugstore mascaras.

Covergirl Lash Perfection Mascara 

Advertised as a volumising mascara that gives a ‘dramatic look’ with a brush that attempts to coat each lash individually. From personal experience it does have really great separation of the lashes that gives a quite natural, volumising look. No clumps, and lasts on the eyes all day. I wouldn’t say that it’s that ‘dramatic’ in its volume but it’s great for a slightly voluminous, natural looking lashes. We give this mascara 8/10.

Maybelline Define-a-lash (waterproof formula)

This is NOT WATERPROOF! Both of us will testify that we initially really liked this mascara, but the formula changed and since then we just haven’t been as happy. Also, unlike the advertising, it is not waterproof and smudges when wet, however, is still ridiculously hard to wash off your eyes at the end of the day. Nevertheless there are positives to this mascara. It provides great length and definition whilst minimally enhancing volume so gives a fairly natural look. It advertises as a mascara that ‘elongates and accentuates the lashes’ so overall it almost lives up to expectations. We give this mascara 6.5/10.

Maybelline The Falsies Flared

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A mascara that has a pro-keratin formula, in my personal opinion it doesn’t visually make a difference but may be better for your lashes as keratin is a main component in hair. The falsies is one of my favourite, it is extremely thickening and lengthening, it does give you great looking lashes but I still wouldn’t go as far to say that they look like falsies. I do love the thick curved wand, it is really great  at curling the eyelashes and the formula does hold the curl a pretty well. The formula is quite thin and wet but the bristles tend to dry out the product quickly. The only bad thing I have to say about this mascara is its longevity, after only a few hours it starts to mildly flake off, it isn’t a deal breaker but just a slight annoyance. We give this mascara 9/10. 

Revlon Grow Lucious Mascara 

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Okay so this is a mascara that I really love, what I look for most in a mascara is longevity. And this mascara lasts perfectly, there is no smudging or flaking as long as you don’t get wet. The large brush claims to plump and visibly lengthens lashes and I have to say I agree. The brush is very large which I like but I know many people hate them, so I guess this mascara may not be for those people. It has a wet think formula that lengthens the lashes but I would say it doesn’t give much volume to them, I like the formula though as it is easy to apply and dries quickly. As for the claims that it helps to grow your lashes, I don’t think that it has done anything to my natural lashes, however I didn’t buy this mascara with the hopes that it would work so there wasn’t any disappointment from me. This mascara is a good drugstore version of my holy-grail one. We give this mascara 9.5/10.

Covergirl lash blast length 

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This mascara gives great length and beautiful separated lashes but basically no volume giving the overall effect on the lashes a nice natural look. I love this mascara for everyday when you don’t really feel like wearing makeup. It is buildable and you can  get a little more volume if you want that sort of look. It claims to be water-resistant which I haven’t yet fully tested, but I have never had an issue with smudging or flaking. We give this mascara 8/10.

Le Volume de Chanel (10 noir)

Advertises as a mascara that provides ‘volume and curl – lash by lash’. And it definitely delivered! It is incredibly light weight, so doesn’t weigh down the lashes over the day. Lasts all day and looks exactly as you applied it in the morning! Gorgeous deep black colour with amazing separation of the lashes that gives you such an incredible volumising and lengthening look. We honestly couldn’t believe how amazing our lashes looked with it on.

We give this mascara 11/10!

They’re Real Benefit

Probably one of the best mascaras on the market at the moment. And yes, you have probably seen about 1 million reviews on this already. With good reason. It really lives up to it’s name with about 95% of people who try it. It advertises that it ‘lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates’ and it really does all that! And on top of all that it has great long lasting results! The brush is also fantastic in that it allows you to get into those small lashes closer to your nose that sometimes get left behind. The formula lasts all day and doesn’t weigh your lashes down at all. Unfortunately, although it is not as expensive as some of the other mascaras that are considered ‘high end’ it still costs a pretty penny. We  give this mascara 9/10.

Dior Extase

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This is a great mascara, it has one of those wavy wands that look like three balls have been stuck together. I am a big fan of these wands but I know it is personal preference because Carla hates them. These wands give your eyelashes a super curled effect and make your lashes look fantastic. There are a few downsides however, the formula dries up quickly, it is a dark grey instead of black (like advertised) and it weighs down your eyelashes which means after a couple of hours you have already lost the brilliant curl that the mascara wand just gave you. The mascara really does give you great looking lashes, it lengthens and gives great volume  We give this mascara 6/10.

Lancome Virtuose 

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One of our higher end mascaras Lancome Virtuose was one of the first wands to have this curved shape when brands like Maybelline (with the falsies flared) caught onto the trend. I do love this mascara but for the $30 price tag I’d rather go with the falsies flared as the formula is almost identical. The only reason I would go over this over the falsies is because of the wand, it grabs every single lash (even those little ones still growing) and lengthens, separates and gives amazing volume. I would love to try out the Hypnose version of this one as I tend to like the wavy wands more. We give this mascara 9/10. 

Just remember that everyone has a different eye shape and different preferences so we can’t guarantee our experiences will be universal. However, we believe the clear winner is…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

Le Volume De Chanel!

Considering that mascaras only last 3-4 months and most people won’t want to spend $160 on mascara a year, we believe that the close runner up is Revlon Grow Lucious.

So the final verdict, are high end mascaras worth it? Well in our honest opinion with the short expiry date on most mascaras and the large price tags, luxury mascaras are just that, luxury items. Overall they are better quality mascaras, they make your lashes look incredible and generally last longer than drug store ones, but for three to four times the price it just isn’t worth it on a day to day basis. Besides drug store brands over the past year have really picked up their game and the quality has skyrocketed. Don’t get us wrong, high end brands and their mascaras are amazing and if you feel like a spluge the price definitely reflects the quality, we recommend them for special occasions and days where you feel like an extra kick with your look.

Hope you enjoyed

xxx Rubenesque

(PS. If you have any questions regarding specific use, retail price, or anything else, feel free to comment below and we will reply as best we can)

Makeup Tutorial: Perfect Date Night Look

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Hello Lovelies!

Today we have a makeup look for all of you. So this started when Carla came to me and asked how she could use this gorgeous eyeshadow colour from MAC. It was called Tilt and it is a beautiful dusty frosty blue with a sort of lilac reflex. So we decided that we would do a pictorial for you on this makeup look. This look would be great for a date night (maybe too full on for first date though), a girl’s night out or even a formal occasion such as prom.

STEP 1:

– Using a flat shader brush push the Tilt colour across the eyelids

– Then grab a blending brush and blend out the harsh line in the crease and slightly wing out the eyeshadow in the direction of the end of your brow

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STEP 2:

– Using a darker blue colour (we used M.A.C. Flashtrack) on a flat shader brush place it on the outer ‘v’ or outer corner of the eyes

– Then blend way and wing out the eyeshadow in the same way as Tilt, when using darker colours is it important to make sure you aren’t creating ‘gaps’ in your eyeshadow, so you may need to go in and reapply and blend.
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STEP 3:

– Always my favourite step, draw a fairly thick line of eyeliner, it can be gel or liquid, whatever you prefer (we used Benefit Magic Ink) and draw a wing to meet the outside of the crease. The proper way to angle you eyeliner will change from person to person, If you have a slightly hooded lid (meaning that the fold of your crease will finish closer to the outer corner of your eye) you will need to create a straighter wing. As a general rule however follow the angle of your bottom lashes and wing the eyeliner as far as you like.

-With the darker blue colour we used to darken the outer ‘v’ on a small brush drag that as close to the bottom lashes as possible. Don’t put the colour all the way along the bottom as this will close off your eyes making them appear smaller, instead just apply the colour to the outer half of your bottom lashline.

– We also applied MAC Fascinating Kohl eye pencil to the bottom waterline. A white or skin-coloured eyeliner helps to open your eyes up and to knock out any redness that may have been there.

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STEP 4:

– We applied Benefit ‘They’re Real’ mascara to the top and bottom lashes and small corner lashes.

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STEP 5:

– For the rest of the face we used:

– Primer: Benefit POREfessional

– Foundation: Revlon Colorstay in 200 nude,

Powder: Face of Australia loose translucent powder

–  Lips: MAC lustre lipstick in Naked Paris and then a Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Life’s a Peach

– Contour: NYX blush in Taupe

– Blush: Benefit Belle Bamba

AND THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

xox Rubenesque

Starter Brush Kit

When I started using makeup, sponge tip applicators were the extent of my makeup brush knowledge, however my curiosity for makeup soon had me ditching the sponges and spending all my money on every brush I could get my hands on. So I have created a list of brushes that will cover you for all your makeup needs. I have my recommendations of each type of brush in brackets (please note that the photo may not always match the recommendation)

Blending brush– (MAC 217)
As you can probably work out this is a brush I like to use to blend out eyeshadow. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow however this will most likely result in fall out (eyeshadow falling under the eyes) and will give more of a wash of colour on the lids.

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Crease brush– Louise Young LY38
These brushes are like a miniature version of a blending brush, usually tapered, they are perfect for creating cut creases and for general precision work in the crease.

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Flat shader brush
One of the absolute essentials. A good flat shader brush will be quite stiff and won’t have a lot of give. This brush is perfect for apply eyeshadow onto the eyelids, it prevents fall out and you can use the tip of the brush for eyeshadow application under the eyes and on the lashline.

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Angle brush
This is such a multi-purpose brush. It should have a thin width, be soft and have a little give in the bristles. These brushes are great for: filling in eyebrows, eyeliner and even applying eyeshadow in smaller areas such as the top and bottom lashline

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Eyeliner brush
Pretty self-explanatory I would say that this brush is not an essential for beginners as the angle brush is usually easier when first starting out with liquid, gel or cake liners.

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Contour brush
Again a self-explanatory brush. A good contouring brush will be small, fluffy and have an a slight angle to it. When contouring it is easiest to make a fishy face and follow the contour below your cheekbone using a colour that is only two shades darker than your face powder with a cool undertone.

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Blush/ Powder brush
There are so many of these! They come in all shapes and sizes and materials. My advice for buying a powder brush is to go with one that is a) really soft and b) is no bigger than your cheek when the bristles are splayed out. This will make it easier to control where the powder is going. My favourite ones are duo fiber stippling brushes.

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Dense Foundation brush- (Sigma Round Kabuki Brush)
Okay these brushes are not essential if you prefer to just work with your hands, but boy, these are my life saver. They give you a better coverage than a standard flat foundation brush but you can really work in into the skin giving a flawless finish. The only downside to these brushes is that they tend to suck up a lot of product so to minimize this effect I generally apply my moisturiser with them.

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For newbies to makeup I don’t think you need all these brushes. I would say you need a:

– blending brush
– powder brush (go with a duo fiber stippling brush so that you can use it for contouring, blush and powder)
– flat shader brush
– angle brush

That should be plenty to learn with. I would also say that if you can get your hands on a generic brand Beauty Blender then that would be great for foundation or your hands usually gives the most natural finish.

Rubenesque Recommends:

There are a few brands that I highly recommend when it comes to brushes. (I have only included brands that have reasonable pricing because this is a post on starting a set)

Real Technique brushes
http://realtechniques.com/where-to-buy

Sigma brushes
http://www.sigmabeauty.com/category_s/98.htm?searching=Y&sort=5&cat=98&show=75&page=1

Eyeshadow Colour Guide

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Matching eye colour with shadows is one of the most basic but important things when doing your makeup. It is something that can be completely overwhelming so we figured that we would write up a simple guide for matching your eye colour with complementary as well as enhancing colours. Please note, this is only a guide, we strongly believe in experimenting with makeup and doing whatever you feel most comfortable in. We would also like to point out that these colours will vary depending on skin tone. We hope this is helpful and enjoy.

Warm Green Eyes:

Enhancing: plum purples, red-browns

Complementary: cool greens, warm browns, oranges, cool greys (taupes)

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Cool Green Eyes:

Enhancing: cool greens, warm purples, cool purples, light pinks

Complementary: warm greens, cool browns, cool greys

NOTE: stay away from bright blues

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Blue-Grey Eyes:

Enhancing: coral

Complementary: any browns, nudes, peach

NOTE: if you have blue-grey eyes and you want them to look bluer, stay away from shadows that are a brighter blue than your eye as they will make your eyes look dull in colour.

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Blue-Blue Eyes:

Enhancing: warm purples, coral, warm browns, darker blues

Complementary: any browns, nudes

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Warm Brown Eyes:

Enhancing: cool purples, dark blues, cool greens

Complementary: all browns, nudes, oranges

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Dark Brown Eyes:

Enhancing: warm purples, warm yellows, warm oranges, all blues

Complementary: all browns, nudes

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If you are looking for some new and broad eyeshadow palettes on a budget we highly recommend this website: http://www.bhcosmetics.com/eyes

For amazing quality customizable palettes we would recommend INGLOT

http://www.inglotcosmetics.com